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Curated research library of TV news clips regarding the NSA, its oversight and privacy issues, 2009-2014

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Primary curation & research: Robin Chin, Internet Archive TV News Researcher; using TV News Archive service.

Speakers

Jeremy Scahill
Co-Founder, The Intercept
CNNW 02/10/2014
Scahill: this is effectively what amounts to death by metadata. We're living in an era of precrime where we're using analysis of signals, intercepts of the activity that is registered on behalf of a s.i.m. card or a telephone handset. We don't necessarily have evidence that the individuals holding that s.i.m. card or that moble phone handset are in fact the individuals that we're targeting. And so what is effectively happening is that instead of confirming that target x is in fact this individual that the U.S. is trying to kill, they are effectively killing the cell phones. And this is a system that is rife with error and what we see is that the U.S.. has basically outsourced its human intelligence capacity, so called human capacity and it's now relying in some cases 90% or more on the use of signals intelligence or imagery intelligence and that leaves the door open for killing of phones not targeting of individuals.
Jeremy Scahill
Co-Founder, The Intercept
LINKTV 02/10/2014
Scahill: What we have seen also over the past month is a very serious escalation in the threats coming from the Obama Administration and from Capitol Hill against journalists. There is this attempt on the part of the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper to imply that the journalists who are reporting on the Snowden documents are accomplices to a crime-- my understanding from a confidential source in the intelligence community is that Clapper two weeks before he publicly used that term of accomplice, that he also said that in a top-secret classified briefing within the intelligence community sort of floating it.
Jeremy Scahill
Co-Founder, The Intercept
LINKTV 02/10/2014
Scahill: Mike Rogers also has just been on a rampage against journalists, also against Snowden, making totally unfounded allegations about Snowden being somehow a Russian agent or cooperating with Russian agents. And so the timing of this site and why we felt it was so urgent to start reporting on these stories right now is to push back against this climate of fear and to say we as independent journalist are not going to back down in the face of government threats. That in fact, this is when it is most important to stand up for a truly free and independent press is when those in power start to try to push their fist down upon you.
Jeremy Scahill
Co-Founder, The Intercept
MSNBCW 08/06/2014
Scahill: The fact is that Umar Farouk, the so called under wear bomber, was in the U.S. Intelligence community’s, he was on their radar, but he wasn't on the no-fly list. And so what I think happened was, there was in massive overreaction where Obama personally issued orders that this is not going to happen again. And if we don't expand these lists radically, then I'm going to hold you all personally accountable for this. So I think that that caused a reaction where they started just pouring names into the database, based on the most frivolous evidence. You know, the standard used to get on to the list that will categorize you as a known or suspected terrorist can be as flimsy as an uncorroborated posting that you put on Facebook or on twitter. So they just inundated the system, if part out of fear.
Jeremy Scahill
Co-Founder, The Intercept
MSNBCW 08/06/2014
Scahill: What I think they're using these bloated lists for in part, is to try to force people primarily in the Muslim Arab communities to be informants for the government. And they use the fact that they are designated as known or suspected terrorists to try to make them informants. So it's a combination of these two things. And on the one hand, the ACLU makes a very strong civil liberties argument, that the reasonable suspicion standard, and not reasonable doubt, or not probable cause, is used to put people on this list. It's essentially like a global stop and frisk program. There are civil liberties issues. But the FBI people that we've talked to also are against the bloating of this list, because they say that they're just getting inundated with names of people that really don't have any known links to terrorism, and it's causing real terror investigations to be flooded with meaningless, frivolous information that ultimately hinders the ability to root out actual terrorists in our society.
Jeremy Scahill
Co-Founder, The Intercept
MSNBCW 08/06/2014
Scahill: In June, a federal judge ruled a portion of this system unconstitutional. And the portion of that system was the fact that you, as an American citizen, not to mention, you know, a foreigner, have no right to know whether or not you're on this list, why you've been put on the list, and if you challenge a status that you think you may have. In other words, if you think you've been watch listed or if you're on the no-fly list, or the selectee list, which means you get stopped every time you try to check in for your flight and pulled aside for extra screening, the policy is they won't confirm or deny it, and then it goes through a secret process where the actual agencies that nominated you, whether it's the CIA or the NSA or the FBI, have the ultimate veto power to keep you on the list or to adjust your status. so a judge has said that that is unconstitutional.
Jeremy Scahill
Co-Founder, The Intercept
MSNBCW 08/06/2014
Scahill: What this really boils down to I think a very, very serious issue is the fact that the evidence that's used against people to put them on this list is completely flimsy. And would not hold up in a court of law. In fact, one of the documents we obtained said even if someone that we have on this list is acquitted of a terrorism-related crime, that doesn't necessarily mean we should take them off the list, because we don't have to meet the reasonable doubt standard.
Jeremy Scahill
Co-Founder, The Intercept
MSNBCW 08/06/2014
Klein: Are those people suspected under reasonable rationales or are they just completely random, they put up something on Facebook? Scahill: Well, in all likelihood, it's both or it’s either of those. What we know, based on the watch list and guidance that we published two weeks ago and the documents that we just published this week is that there are some people, without a doubt, who are on that list because of something that they put on Facebook or something they put on twitter, or because their phone number popped up in the phone of someone that we think may be in touch with someone whose cousin may be a suspected terrorist in Pakistan. And then there probably are people on that where they have actual evidence, and these are dangerous people. And so part of the point, beyond the civil liberties argument, is that if your goal is to actually try to prevent acts of terrorism against the united states, you're doing a heck of a job making it more difficult to root out potential terrorists by having so many people who have no connection to terrorism in your lists.
Jeremy Scahill
Co-Founder, The Intercept
LINKTV 08/29/2014
Scahill: I read in the report, my colleague, Alan Goldman, who’s a fantastic reporter for The Washington Post said we are forced to sort of act like we are spies and we’re not spies. We’re journalists, and we shouldn’t be forced to do all this but there is a war on journalism around the world, and in some countries it comes in the form of journalists being murdered. Here, it comes in the form of our communications being surveilled, phone records been seized, our communications being monitored. There’s something a little bit funny about this, but it is also creepy. When we spoke to the National Counterterrorism Center, the other day, one of the things they said early on in the call, is Jeremy, we know you’ve been making a bunch of phone calls throughout Washington, D.C., today. Thank you for acknowledging that, but it’s like I think the Obama administration's posture is only state propaganda belongs in the public domain and if you want to cultivate your own sources and you want to challenge assertions made by officials in Washington by developing your own sources, we’re going to go after you with the full extent of the law.
Jeremy Scahill
Co-Founder, The Intercept
LINKTV 08/29/2014
Scahill: Go online, and find the warrant that was served on Google for the emails of James Rosen of FOX News, who, of course was leaked information allegedly by a Federal employee, who’s now serving a prison sentence. But if you read what the government did to justify seizing all of James Rosen’s gmails, not his fox news account, his gmail, it’s incredible. They basically said, and they knew this wasn’t true, that James Rosen is basically in a conspiracy to commit a very very serious crime and we need to get all of his e-mails. Now James Rosen was also an imbecile in how he dealt with his source, and that is clear in that subpoena, in that warrant. Read that warrant, it’s chilling for press freedom.
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